Dual-screen computing junkies may finally have a portable solution in GScreen’s Spacebook, a laptop with two screens that’s now available for pre-order. Although I’ve yet to see it up close, I’m already terrified by this monstrosity. The main attraction is a pair of 17.3-inch displays that slide into a side-by-side view, sitting in a frame that weighs 10 pounds and measures nearly two inches thick when folded shut, according to Mashable.
Two configurations are available, one with a dual-core Intel i5 processor and 4GB of RAM, and the other with a quad-core Intel i7 processor and 8GB of RAM. Both models include 1GB Nvidia GeForce graphics processors, 500GB hard drives, DVD drives and Windows 7. No word on battery life for either model, but don’t expect great things with two screens vying for power.
The price: $2,395 for the dual-core version and $2,795 for the quad-core version. GScreen wants half your money up front with no ship date in sight.
But read the fine print: GScreen takes a $50 processing fee for cancelled orders, and offers only a 14-day return window for unsatisfied customers. And if the product is defective, you’ve only got 30 days to send it back for a refund. For now, there’s no mention of a replacement warranty.
All those conditions make me a bit nervous about the Spacebook, which first appeared in 2009 and until now was presumed to be vaporware. Pre-ordering expensive hardware from a small company — especially one that hasn’t shipped any products to consumers — seems like a big gamble, so you may want to wait until the Spacebook materializes before dropping more than a grand on the prospect.
In the meantime, consider a less ambitious solution for dual-screen laptop use: MIMO sells a USB-powered 7-inch portable monitor for $139. Or if you’ve got a tablet, you can use it as a second display with apps like Air Display for iPad ($10) or iDisplay for Android ($5).